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Interesting Facts About Fraternal Twins

Saptakee Sengupta
Let's discover the facts of fraternal twins. Read to know all about them.
Fraternal twins, also known as dizygotic or non identical twins are born when two eggs get fertilized simultaneously and are subsequently implanted in the uterine wall.
They are scientifically termed as dizygotic because two ova get fertilized independently by separate sperms. A woman can give birth to two babies of same or different sex, i.e. the probability of fraternal twins is, two brothers/sisters or a brother and a sister.

The Facts

With the birth of two babies at the same time, the responsibility of parenting becomes enormous. Experts say that the chances of giving birth to fraternal twins are always more than identical twins. Birth of identical twins is a rare occurrence. Fraternal twins are conceived when mother hyper-ovulates, increasing the chances of getting pregnant with twins.
Also known as monozygotic twins, identical twins are born from a single zygote that gets separated into two. Fraternal twins develop in two separate placenta having its own chorion and amnion, while identical twins share the common placenta. They have a different chromosome profile while identical twins have the same set of DNA.
Couples who are in the age group of 35-40 and have undergone prior fertility treatment, are more likely to give birth to fraternal twins. Chances also multiply with intake of birth control pills, genetic factors, race and origin.
Research on scientific evaluation has shown that women of African origin conceive them at higher rate than the Asian population.Thus, geographical factors play a key role in determining the population of fraternal twins.
From genetic studies, we also come to know that a woman who has given birth to twins earlier, has higher prospects of conceiving twins once again. She is more likely to conceive twins, if twins are already present in the maternal side of the family.
One of the reasons behind giving birth to fraternal twins after the age of 30 is production of high levels of estrogen. Ovaries get stimulated to produce more than one egg at a time due to high estrogen levels.
Fraternal twins can also have separate fathers. This occurs when two eggs fertilized by different sperms (of different individuals) at different time, develop simultaneously; this phenomenon is known as superfetation.
Another fact about fraternal twins is that they do not resemble each other completely. They share nearly 50% of genetic makeup and can be identified easily. The similarities and differences have made many people famous in the entertainment and media industry. They are recognized as 'famous twins' owing to their popularity. Here is a list of such twins:
  • Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
  • Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
  • Joel Madden and Benji Madden
  • Scarlett Johansson and Hunter Johansson
  • Gisele Bundchen and Patricia Bundchen
  • Tia and Tamera Mowry
  • Vin Diesel and Paul Diesel
  • Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren
  • Eli Shadrack Phipps and John Meshak Phipps
  • Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse
  • Jarron and Jason Collins
  • Kevin and Cory Lidle
  • Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
  • Coco Miller and Kelly Miller
  • Matt Hughes and Mark Hughes
  • Tom and Dick Van Arsdale
  • Moses Soyer and Raphael Soyer
  • Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren
  • Jenna Bush and Barbara Bush
  • Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene
Whether identical or fraternal, twins share a unique bond with each other. Despite having a separate genetic composition, fraternal twins have an emotional connection which allows them to perceive each other's happiness and sorrows.